Every weekday, DIY’s new music know-it-all Neu brings you one essential new release to get obsessed with. Today’s Neu Pick comes from Xenoula.
Romy Xeno spent her early years in South Africa, becoming influenced by the elemental, traditional songs of the nearby villagers and the rhythms of nature, developing a connection with the natural world. But then, when she was 16, she moved back to the UK, experiencing a culture shock as she began to re-acclimatise to the more mechanical, man-made world around her. She came to use music as a way of expressing her feelings about her new environment.
Romy’s background is central to understanding her work under the moniker Xenoula. After retreating to North Wales, she’s now gearing up to release her self-titled debut album on 24th November on Weird World (produced by Sam Dust, aka LA Priest), she leads us into a world that’s both organic and mechanical on her latest single ‘Luna Man’.
It’s a track filled with natural percussion (using handclaps and almost wooden, blocky beats) but these elements also bristle up against slightly warped yet funk-inspired guitar riffs. Throw into the mix Romy’s own voice – which moves from hushed whispers to emotional cries – and ‘Luna Man’ becomes an intriguing, enveloping tale of two worlds colliding.
The theme of duality is also present in Romy’s video for the track, which sees her performing as two mysterious figures: one clad in black robes, the other sailing away on a raft dressed in futuristic silver, both roaming the forest.
Watch the video for ‘Luna Man’ below.